Gold Mining Vacation


Gold Mining Vacation

When the word vacation is uttered, most of us picture beaches, skiing, hotel suites and buffets, from anywhere between the Bahamas to the Caribbean to Europe. Of course, vacationing in these lavish places costs a large amount of money, and it’s not exactly like you’ll be making money while you are there, is it?

This may very well be the reason that more and more individuals, and in fact, entire families want a vacation that’s different. Gold mining vacation has its allure and they opt for it. It may be strange to imagine, but there are those out there who dream of escaping from their daily routine by standing knee-deep in muddy streams and creeks, searching for a fleck or dust of shiny gold. Mining for gold is no longer a money-making scheme; there are people who consider it a fun vacation for the whole family.

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As with any new trend, there had to be something that caused this novel bout of recreational mining. One factor could be the rate of gold being at an all-time high. Then there is the fact California’s gold fields are still not fully utilized and experts claim that it could be as much as 80%! Originally, miners were only successful in mining about 20% of California’s gold. It was indeed unfortunate that a large majority of these poor gold prospectors worked so hard in the mines but came out with little or nothing to show for their efforts. It must be said although, that to many of them this did not seem to matter. They felt better for having achieved their version of the American dream about staking their claim, finding a small nugget of gold and making a better future for themselves. This gives vacationers in the modern world a chance at making their futures better by finding the remaining gold in places such as California that are still rich in precious minerals.

There are countless sites that are ready to help these vacationers take the plunge. They are even taught how to use simple mining equipment such as a sluice box, dredge components and then they are guided through the mining process. Experienced miners can of course skip this guided tour and go ahead by themselves. Or they can join The New 49ers Prospecting Club, which, for a fee, gets them lifetime access to claims on a few rivers in California.

It’s no wonder that vacationers are considering gold mining as a worthy past time. Interest rates are fluctuating, jobs are lost, crisis abound. They feel secure knowing that gold won’t let them down. Gold has always been found on most of these guided tours and time seems to be insufficient for a gold hunt vacation. It may be risky, but there’s a chance that all, or part, of the money set aside for a vacation during a year of hard work at the office could be made back in a few lucky instances while on that vacation itself.

Gold Mining in North Carolina

In 1799, Conrad Reed, a twelve year old boy, probably while on an imaginative adventure on his own, innocently came across a large, yellow rock on his family’s farm in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. He carried it home to his father, John Reed, who thought the rock would make a suitable doorstop. For three years this rock served its purpose as a sturdy doorstop, while in reality, it was suited to a much more glamorous purpose.

It was only in 1802 that a jeweler identified the rock as a seventeen pound gold nugget, and asked John Reed to name his price. Clueless about the fact that the nugget’s true worth was around $3600, John Reed asked for money equivalent to a week’s worth of wages - $3.50.

Conrad’s discovery in North Carolina initiated the first gold rush in the United States. Farmers started exploring their creeks for gold, with both men and women, and young and old workers. Outsiders would soon join them.

A year later, John Reed organized a small gold mining operation. One of his workers found a 28 pound gold nugget soon after. Needless to say, John Reed died quite rich in 1845 from all the gold found on his property. The Reed Gold Mine produced 1.6 tonnes of gold, and the entire state of North Carolina produced around 37.3 tonnes of gold.

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Today the Reed Mine is a historic site and the restored mine tunnels, along with a museum, are open to public viewing and exploration. With that being the case, it’s not surprising that rock hounding, treasure hunting for lost treasures of a bygone era where bits and pieces of jewellery and an odd gold nugget, gems and even other minerals being popular as hobbies in the area. On occasions even a diamond was found. Visitors can have a choice amongst a gold pan, sluice box, metal detector and can get started prospecting and gem collecting by themselves.

While panning in North Carolina it’s not at all unusual to find several small gemstones depositing in your pan. Some Old churches in rural areas had “dinner on the grounds” and at those times parishioners have lost valuable coins and jewellery, which means that many gem collectors today use metal detectors to search for these items at old churches and schools.

Franklin, North Carolina houses countless rubies, and one can easily find ‘Pan for Fee’ stands at many locations.

Although most of North Carolina is covered in forests and streams, this does not stop prospectors from camping out there with their families. Streams are likely to contain gold, or other precious minerals. It’s amazing how a young boy’s discovery of what he thought was an unusual rock, spawned North Carolina’s popularity for gold.

There is mention that a deer was shot by a farmer with bullets made out of gold he found on his property. Large nuggets are known to be found in the North Carolina gold mines. Little Meadow Creek was know for an abundance of nuggets so large that it was called “the Potato Patch.”

Gold Mining North Carolina

Gold mining has been a popular hobby and pastime of the people of North Carolina for centuries. Much of North Carolina is enclosed with National Forests which consist of attractive streams where many people enjoy mining gold. Gold mining and prospecting sites can be found across many counties in the west. Primary and secondary roads to these areas make them very accessible.

Large nuggets of gold have actually been located in North Carolina gold mines which include 17 pound nuggets found on the Little Meadow Creek within the Reed Gold Mine. In fact, so many nuggets were acquired in this area that it was eventually known as “The Potato Patch” showing how the digging of nuggets was as easy as digging for potatoes.

Did you know gold was first found in North Carolina’s Reed Gold Mine in the United States in 1799? It is after this discovery that gold mining eventually spread to other US states. Before the great gold rush to California, North Carolina was the state that produced the highest amount of gold in the US. The production of gold peaked in the 1840s. Gold Hill is a well known mine in the South with a shaft that reaches a depth of 800 feet.

Many gold mining companies in the area search for gold combined with volcanic rocks. Amateur miners, however, usually look for gold found in quartz veins and streams. Even though gold was prospected many times in these areas, the streams that flow through previous gold-mining sites are best for panning gold because much of gold was actually lost during previous mining activities. Small amounts of gold within the sediment of the stream can still be found. Quartz veins, although a common sight on the surface of the ground, rarely contain gold.

Noted deposits of gold have been found in Gastonia, Concord, Salisbury, Lexington, High Point, Burlington and many other counties in North Carolina. Gold was mined three times commercially in Cherokee county.

Certain streams such as Dutch Buffalo Creek in Cabarrus County and the Little Buffalo Creek in Rowan County might be ideal places to pan for gold. The Cotton Patch Mine in Stanly County is one of the few mines which is available for the public for panning. As most property in the state is owned privately, it is advised that people interested in non-commercial gold mining should gain the permission of the landowner before mining in the area. For large-scale mining, mineral rights can be purchased, leased and negotiated with the landowner. Mining is not allowed in National parks and are not often allowed in national forests either.

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While, it is, indeed, rather difficult to obtain huge amounts of gold, the possibility of finding even a little glint of gold colour in a gold pan is not easy to resist. So on your next trip to North Carolina, don’t forget to take your metal detector, gold pan and sluice box and start prospecting for gold! You’ll never know what you might find.

Gold Mining Tool

When James Marshall discovered gold and the California Gold Rush started in 1849 Sam Brannan came up with a foolproof entrepreneurial idea to sell gold mining tools and mining supplies to miners who passed through. He stocked his store with all sorts of equipment, buckets, pans, clothing items, food and all the needs of a miner. That brainwave took him on the road to become California’s first millionaire just by selling supplies and tools to the miners.

During the Fraser River Gold Rush in 1858 and millions of people started out to stake a claim, their tools were the basic rocker boxes and pans together with other basic tools. The tools were no different then to other areas that were mined for the precious metal.

Led by Peter Dunleavy, five Americans made the first discovery of gold on the Little Horsefly River. Hearing about the immense strike, people from distant countries as far as China came to Cariboo and canoes were the cheapest source of transport to the gold fields. The basic tools such as sluices, long toms, rocker boxes, and gold pans, were used in the Cariboo Gold Rush as well till 1865. In 1897 gold pans, sluice boxes, rocker boxes, blowers, and Xbox hacking were used in the Klondike Gold Rush.

In Australia, the gold rush was started when Edward Hargraves found gold in 1851, though even before gold was found but never discussed. The methods used then are still in use to day and such are the basic tools and equipment as rocker box or gold cradle, gold panning equipment and many more items.

Metal detectors, rock hammers and picks, classifiers, rock tumblers, gold dredges, hand tools etc are still in use in all of these sites to date.

Long toms were used in dry diggings since water was important in the washing process.

Rocker boxes was an important tool to separate gold from paydirt. Set up near a stream the paydirt was scooped up into a sieve at the top which separate large gravel. Water is added and the box as its name implies is rocked. This apparatus was not very large as it had to be hauled around and so measured about 1 meter long and 30 centimeters wide. It is also called a cradle. The smaller sluice box was similar to a rocker, but longer and thereby heavier, used to separate gold from mud and other muck.

Bigger sluice boxes or long toms were used in all the gold rush sites. Klondike Gold Rush, Cariboo Gold Rush, and the California Gold Rush, the Fraser River Gold Rush being most of them

Long toms were very much like a sluice box, but are bigger measuring sometimes up to 15 ft made mainly out of wood and had a ripple box and tray like sieve with a metal bottom. Placed at a slight incline and require six to eight men to have it running well.

With today’s technological improvements large scale mining operations are fully mechanized and huge monstrous machinery and trucks are in use.

Copper Mining Company

Copper has made a significant impact in economic, industrial and social lifein a state. It has many uses such as being used for electricity, wiring, weather stripping, water pipes and architectural trim. If you take a look at any electrical appliance copper has been made use of. This can be found in offices and homes in the likes of computers, air conditioners, automobiles, planes and railroad engines. Copper is a daily necessity in our lives.

Copper was first discovered in the mountain of Salt lake Valley. The first wagonload of copper was hauled in 1868 from Bingham Canyon. Utah’s role in the copper industry increased as there was a rise in development in electric power. Copper mining companies were primarily placed in Bingham Canyon in the state of Utah. Investors and businessman flocked to Utah and even a few millionaires.

Smelters were established in Salt Lake Valley and signified the importance of the copper industry. In the beginning of the 20th century copper mining companies merged. Open pit copper mining was initially introduced to Utah by Daniel Jackling where mechanical shovels are used to remove the surface rock and dig out the copper. He also introduced mining in large quantities .

Copper mining became so popular in Utah that most other operations ceased to exist. Bingham grew in its copper mining industry and became the centre of business for many immigrants.

In 1870 English and Irish miners came across the Bingham area and by 1890 the Finns, Italians and Chinese began coming in as well. Later on the Mexicans moved in and made their cultural presence significant in Bingham.

One of the downfalls in the copper industry was the labour strikes of workers and companies. In 1912 the first strike occurred. This strike damaged the industry and nearly five months went by before operations resumed to normalcy.

Copper mining produced the Magna and Garfield areas in 1906 for fine crushing, coarse crushing and concentrating. An electric generating plant was built in 1906 below the Magna hill. Magna became well developed with many settlers, explorers and businessman. By 1920 a company was being constructed to showcase copper related products such as shingles, copper nails, hips, ridges, copper gutter straps, chimney saddles, pipe fittings and shower fixtures.

The copper industry expanded it s services even towards having baseball leagues, swimming pools and various sports facilities. Copper mills having started at 152 workers had expanded up to 1336 in the year of 1938.

The copper industry peaked during world war two. Due to the shortage of labour in Bingham Canyon a few Puerto Ricans came to assist with the mining. Most copper used during the war was produced at Bingham. Bingham had nearly 8 million tons of copper in 1963. the project running at that time was expanded b another copper company known as the Kennecott.

There was a decline in the copper industry in 1970 and it was subsequently sold in 1980 to a British owned company. Kennecott modernized the facilities by investing nearly 400 million dollars. There was an estimate of 2240 staff workers in 1989. Annually the revenue that Kennecott has managed to produce is quite astounding. The Bingham mine is the largest open pit copper mine in the world.


Gold mining supplies have a tendency to fluctuate at various levels. In the year 2005 gold mining supplies fell down 2 percent. Gold miners, explorers and companies are trying to drill beneath any available surface hoping to strike gold, but they have to come across issues such as cost, economy, recession and politics.

It is relatively accurate to say that most gold mining regions have already been scoured for gold. North America forecasted only 78 percent in its mine discovery, and South Africa estimated only half of that. There is also a hike in expenses. Cost in production has increased. It is estimated that an ounce of new gold discovered has fallen by 30 percent in the last fifteen years. Every time a new ounce of gold is discovered it costs approximately 2.6 times to locate it. In the time period of 1992 and 2005 the world had produced an output of 1.1 billion ounces in gold.

Gold mining suppliers face another hurdle where certain populist governments steal their assets. For example in Fiji, the military government seized a gold mine which belonged to an Australian Company. There is political threat which is faced by gold mining companies and this remains an obstacle in their production and discoveries of gold. There are a few activists in charity organizations and environmental organizations which also make the companies’ day to day activities more difficult than before.

There seems to be a decline in gold production according to an industry expert. According to the top five gold mining companies approximately 3.5 million and 7 million ounces of gold is discovered. It is difficult to keep abreast of this productivity since mine reserves need to be replaced. And it is certainly hard to replace about 3.5 and 7 million ounces in gold. Even in a situation a big discovery is made in gold mining it ma take up to nearly ten years to get an approved permit to build up on the mine.

The gold mining supply market is struggling since the year of 2007. This has become a worldwide problem. The gold mining companies face heavy opposition from environmentalists and lobbyists and certain political figures. As an example we can mention how a gold mining company lost its control on certain mines in Venezuela as a result of their socialist government.

Gold mining totaled 17 billion dollars in 2006 which was a combination of mergers and acquisitions of the gold mining sector, whereas the output of the market fell to a low in nearly ten years. This is inevitable, when only digging of gold is conducted but looking to discover new gold mining reserves is put on hold. Funding opportunities are limited and raising funds to provide for gold mining programs are very limited.

In 2009 the gold mining industry is expecting prices to fall sharply as much as ten percent. Another obstacle which needs to be faced by the mining industry is shortage of skilled labour. This shortage extends to the functions of the industry’s management. The ongoing projects in countries are also somewhat challenging and it’s difficult to attract the right management.


Nevada is a major mining industry in the United States. It produces gold from open pit mining. Currently 82 percent of all gold mining is produced in the state of Nevada. Some of the active mines at the moment include Jerritt Canyon. 8.6 million troy ounces of gold was produced in 1959 in the Comstock Lode. Nevada is known as the Silver State. Comstock Lode was initially discovered with the discovery of a stream near Dayton in 1849. it is said that American Indians used various scraping and cutting tools to access the deposits. Evidence of the Indians has been found at in the southern county of Crescent Peak. Many of these myths allowed explorers and prospectors to these locations in the hope of material being found. Another myth which is told is that there were Spanish miners in 1770 exploring placer gold mines. Another fictional possibility is that of Mexican miners discovering gold placers in the Tule Canyon district.

Virginia City is known famously for its’ gold mines. This discovery helped boom Virginia City and in 1860 in was considered a cosmopolitan city in the west. Comstock mines produced one billion in ore. In Nevada, Virginia City is its most famous mining town. This town has survived its test of time and many explorers and prospectors struck gold in the Gold Canyon.

There are several gold mines in northern Nevada. There is the Carlin mine which has an estimate of 2oo or more gold deposits. The other type of common mine is Opal mines and it is possible to scour the earth for your own treasure. In Virginia Valley there exists the Royal Peacock Opal Mine, Bonanza Opal Mine and the Rainbow Ridge Opal Mine.

During the time of 1849 in Nevada’s early history of mining, many industries were established to better serve the mining people. Tourism blossomed and benefited the Nevada economy as a result of gold mining.

Miners enhanced the gold discovery with the use of mercury. This was later said to be harmful towards the environment. Hydraulic mining was used in Nevada and the state is now better preparing itself to better handle the use of mercury in gold mining.

In 1992, the gold production in Nevada made it the second leading gold mining state in the world. It was estimated that a total of 138 million ounces of gold was produced during that time. Later on though there was a decline in the mining operations. Gold prices hit a record low and some legislature caused uncertainty in gold exploration.

Nevada contributes to its growth in the economy through the mining industry. It practices had rock mining which is also known as open pit mining. The tax policies, and state’s legislature has always favoured the mining industry. A law which passed in 1872 has benefited the miners and much freedom has been enjoyed. According to this law it speculates that not much regulation is practiced. And relative oversight is allowed.

Right throughout 1993 Nevada is dominated by its metal industry. There is hope that mines will be developed which will serve the state and it population.


Once the US acquired territory from Russia gold mining began in the state of Alaska in 1870 southeast of Juneau. In 1869 miners discovered gold placers which were estimated to be a total worth of 40,000 dollars. Alaska first produced its gold in 1870 and 1871. When it was 1883 the gold mining centre in Alaska was in Juneau.

In 1898 gold was discovered at Anvil Creek and this brought many explorers who flocked to Alaska. Gold miners discovered gold on the Nome beaches and miners still seek gold in this area. They may take a summer trip and find gold which will then enable them to pay towards their trips. In Talkeetna south of the river there is another gold rush where mine explorers have discovered. In 1917 in Wasilla a depot was built for miners to use as a shopping point. The population is ver small in this area bt the quest for gold still continues.

Many of the placer gold mines which are producing gold operate from Alaska. Some of them are found in the Yukon Flats, near Fairbanks, Nome and Juneau. The gold placer mines in Fairbanks were made out to be large scale dredging operations and then became Alaska’s largest gold producer. Alaska has so far produced 40.3 million troy ounces in gold which began in 1880 and throughout the year of 2007. In 1900 transportation facilities improved overall and in remote areas new gold mining discoveries were made. This exploration went on till the year of 1930.

During the Second World War operations in Alaska were temporarily stopped and most mines were closed down. Once the war was at is end, Fairbanks resumed its gold mining operations.

In Alaska placer mining takes on a significant role. There are many family operations which have gone on for many generations that carry on gold mining in Alaska. By the year of 2007, 53,848 ounces of gold was produced.

There are large scale hard rock mines in Alaska as well. Some of them are known as the Greens Creek mine, Fort Knox mine, Pogo mine and Rock Creek mine. Kensington and Jualin are two hard rock mines still under construction.

Apart from this there are explorations on advanced hard rock mines. There is one to be found at Kuskokwim Gold Belt, another at Pebble Copper, Nixon Fork and Niblack

Recreational mining is done as a fun activity in Alaska. Prospectors and explorers use gold pans, rockers, sluice boxes and metal detectors to explore available mines. This can be used as a family activity to spend a weekend and you might also strike gold.

The federal land which is owned by Alaska is open to the public for recreational mining, but there are policies which need to be complied with. Some of these areas which are now popular in mining are, Independence Mine State, Kenai State Parks and Chugach National Forest. These areas now offer explorers facilities required to get their mining done.

There is a gold rush which ahs been discovered most recently and it seems to be the biggest so far. This mine is said to be near Lake Iliamma which is southwest of the Anchorage. It supposedly contains 31.3 million ounces in gold.


Oregon which began its gold mining operations in 1852 and which went on until 1965 produced a total of 5,796,680 ounces of gold.

In the southeastern part of the Blue Mountain which is in Oregon includes rocks of gold bearing range in age from Paleozoic to Tertiary. Tertiary rocks are found in most parts of the country. Initially gold mining was discovered in 1861 at Griffin Gulch. Subsequently more discoveries were made at Sumpter and Canyon Creek. In 1864 the mining locations in the Blue Mountain were known to everyone around. Explorers went in search of gold mining in districts such as Granite, North Folk, Greenhorn, and Susanville. An estimate of 146,000 ounces in gold was produced by Grant County. There was an accumulated total of gold worth for 470,000 ounces all through the period of 1959.

The Canyon Creek district is well known for gold placers which run along the river and produces an estimate of nearly 15 million in gold. In the Granite district a placer gold mine was located as early as 1862. Lode mining subsequently became popular and a commercially successful operation. In the early years mining exploration was done by the Chinese who far outnumbered the Americans. During World War two the mines were closed down and left idling. The only mine that functioned during the war was the Buffalo mine in eastern Oregon.

In North Folk the placer gold mine dates back to the beginning of 1860. Production in 1914 was about 43,000 ounces in gold. This has waned since then and not much production has been reported from this area. The French Diggings also had a gold placer mine. In Dixie Creek placers of gold were discovered by miners and then lode mining began its production in the district. It operated on a small scale production.

In Susanville which is in the eastern part of Oregon placer mining was functioning since 1900. Initially Susanville was known as Elk Creek. The soil was rich and the there were so many nuggets to be found. It was a gold rush and more than 500 gold miners were soon drilling beneath the earth looking for gold. Placer gold mines were discovered earlier in 1864. In the late 1860’s the Badger mine was discovered by explorers. This was an extremely successful production. Between the period of 1932 and 1959 this district was able to successfully produce 17,809 ounces in placer gold and an estimated total worth of 48,750 ounces of placer production.

There exists an interesting story of a person by the name of George Armstrong an elderly gentleman who with his partner Dick Stewart started digging for gold in their spare time. It was not always encouraging but they kept their hope that they might eventually stumble upon a dream mine. As their digging continued one of them noticed that there seemed to be an object looking quite rusty in the shape of a shoe. Subsequently they realized that they had indeed stumbled upon their dream mine. This nugget is still considered to be the largest piece of single gold ever found.

Public Gold Mining

The traditional view of gold mining isn’t one that the public would be interested in. Workers slaving away inside dangerous mines, ever under the watchful eye of their stern, rich employers - doesn’t seem too enticing. But that wouldn’t be an accurate view of gold mining in the present day. It has been a while since gold mining stopped being a low-class job, and in fact, is now considered as recreation since gold mining was made available to the public in some areas.

The United States has countless areas available to the public where you can search for precious gold. Most of these locations do not require you to pay them to mine for gold, but other private mines tend to charge you and there are also some clubs hat require membership before you are allowed to mine. All these options allow you to mine gold for yourself.

Mining for gold is easily done with a gold pan to allow gold flakes and dust to settle at the very bottom. The use of gold pans is very old, but you will still find that it is commonly used among miners with little financial backing. Once placer gold is discovered, it often results in the discovery of larger gold deposits.

Public gold mining has become somewhat a favourite hobby in a few countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, Wales, Canada, and the United States.

Australia now allows any minerals found to belong to the individual who found it. Long ago, if gold or any other precious minerals were found on a piece of land, the law stated that it would belong to the Australian Government and not to the miner that found it. This law has since been changed, and individuals that have a miner’s permit from the Mining Department will own any gold that they find within the mine.

Public gold mining activities that are allowed differ according to the country and its laws. The use of gold pans and shovels is allowed, but some areas prohibit the use of sluice boxes or dredges. The Department of Agriculture in the U.S. now holds a strong belief that public gold mining in national forests is permitted, but with a provision that explosives and heavy machinery aren’t put to use in the process. Additionally, they require that the miner does not divert any waterways, or build any permanent or semi-permanent structures that are not required for successful mining activities.

Individuals are permitted to engage in public mining sites and can place a gold mining claim (proclaiming any minerals found therein to belong to them) in one or more particular areas. There are some public and private lands reserved for gold panning by the public and permission can be sought from the government and the private owners. There are gold mining camps that allow vacationers and the general public to be guided through the process of mining, and many of the public are lucky enough to find some gold with or without this guidance.